A great religious combine is plotting at this moment. Innocent millions will be unsuspectingly sucked into a whirlpool of religious superstition — or be martyred. WORLD religious and political heads are being duped by a sinister force masquerading under the name of religion! With the appealing slogans "Peace" and "Unity," church leaders around the globe are talking of ONE CHURCH. Words are flying, articles roll off presses, precedent — breaking conclaves are being held — startling MERGERS have already taken place!
Would it actually advance the cause of Christianity and bring world peace if all churches united under one head?
Is this "Ecumenical" (world-wide) church movement really what it pretends to be?
Would you like to know in advance whether the Vatican will succeed in gathering the "scattered brethren" — the other Catholic Orthodox churches and the Protestants — back into her fold?
Answer in Advance Does it sound incredible to you that the answer was written almost 3,000 years ago — 800 years before Christ? Is it too hard to believe that Christ Himself had much to say about "Ecumenism" and a colossal end-time religious hoax?
The answers were written under inspiration by Isaiah the prophet long before New Testament times, and the Apostle John quotes Jesus Christ's own analysis of this new global ideology in the book of Revelation, believe it or not!
Before we analyze what prophecy has to say about church unity, here is a report on recent events which have been fulfilling the predictions of the Bible right before our eyes!
India Hosts Biggest Protestant Meeting Ever Since the Council of Trent in the 16th century, there has been no gathering of Christians such as New Delhi, India, witnessed last fall. The World Council of Churches — boasting over 3,000,000 members from 197 denominations throughout 90 countries — feels itself responsible for "one of the very early events in the second great Reformation of Christendom." The main topic of this Council was how to solve differences and bring about unity. Among these theologians it is common knowledge that over 430 differing, bickering, backbiting, competing denominations, all claiming to be of Christ, cannot possibly be reconciled with Christ's final prayer "... that they may be ONE, even as we are one" (Jn. 17:22).
Fruit was borne. For the first time since the Protestant split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500's, a Protestant body in harmony with Orthodox Catholics made concrete progress toward unity! With much light-footed sidestepping and shadow-boxing, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Willem A. Visser't Hooft, managed to appease the high-ups of Russian Orthodoxism and win them as members!
This Council is growing in prestige and popularity — has already helped some Protestant churches to unite — and will be the springboard for new and large mergers as a result of the 1961 meetings. The National Council of Churches here in America is sewing stronger stitches. Beside the several dozen unifications among Protestants of the last 10 years (especially the Methodist realignment), there is the pending large-scale blending of Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and United Church of Christ.
Protestants Not Alone The "let's — get — together" ecumenism spirit is stirring around the world for the first time in millenniums. Una Sancta, a European Protestant-Catholic togetherness movement working to amalgamate all churches into a super Christian cartel celebrates its 23rd year in 1962. "Athenagoras I, Patriarch of Constantinople and spiritual leader of all Eastern Orthodox churches, made his first appeal for a reunion of Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant churches" (New York Times, April 15, 1960).
This was followed in September, 1961, by the numerous Orthodox (non-Roman) Catholic churches meeting in Rhodes — after centuries of jealousy and attack among themselves — to plan a new Orthodox unification! This would include such groups as the Greek, Russian, Serbian, Rumanian, Syrian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, to name a few. By a freak accident, a proposed meeting on reunion between Pope John XXIII and Eastern Orthodox officials was scooped by the press and so was called off.
This is not all. Also for the first time, the Vatican sent official observers to the World Council in New Delhi. The Secretariat for the Unity of Christians, headed by Curia-Cardinal Bea of the Vatican, is studying the ecumenical problem. The Pope has had tradition-breaking visits, just in the last year, from the presiding Bishop of the U. S. Protestant Episcopal Church, and the Archbishop of Canterbury!
Biggest News Yet The world was jarred early in 1959 when Pope John announced "Vatican 11," the first ecumenical (world-wide) council in 90 years! A flurry of comment from religious and political leaders flooded the press and news media. Perhaps you can better grasp the importance of such an announcement if you know that only 20 such meetings have been held since the birth of Christ! The last one, called "Vatican I," announced the Pope as infallible in matters of faith and doctrine. Even such an important doctrine as Mary ascending to heaven bodily was pronounced by Pope Pius XII without benefit of a council.
What to Expect This Fall The world waits with wonder and awe for the results of the much-hailed, long-delayed, world-wide council. At last Rome is responding to widespread pressure for unification. You, the reader, do not have to wait for the published results of the meetings. Through the prophecies of your own Bible, and the tireless efforts of our global newsgathering agency, you can understand IN ADVANCE!
A four-step plan — at first glance fantastic — has already been outlined by Vatican dignitaries and set in motion! It will succeed!
Step 1: Bring the Vatican to the height of its strength and unity. "The main aim of the ecumenical council will be that of strengthening and invigorating the Roman Catholic Church" (Pope John XXIII, AP release in Glendale News Chronicle, Aug. 10, 1959). Much has been accomplished since this announcement. Loose ends will be tied up this fall.
Step 2: Regather the "scattered brethren" of Orthodox Catholicism. "Pope John XXIII's call for an ecumenical council is aimed primarily at achieving a reunion of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches which parted ways in the 'Great Schism' of 1472" (UPI, Evening Tribune, San Diego, California, Jan. 27, 1959). Although complete reunion will probably not be accomplished this year, the groundwork will be laid; merger will follow.
Step 3: Embrace the "daughter" Protestant churches which broke away during the Reformation! This third step will not be achieved this fall, but as a prelude to it, the Protestants have a precedent-breaking invitation to watch the council meetings this fall! Sounds incredible, you say? Listen to what Pope John himself said: "Then, when the Catholic Church is in its full splendor, we will say to Orthodox and Protestants, 'You can see, brothers, this is the Church of Christ. Come! Come! This is the way open to a meeting, TO A RETURN! Come to take, or take back, your place which, for many of you, is that of your ancient fathers'" (L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican newspaper, Aug. 10, 1959).
Step 4: "Missionary Conquest of the world for Christ" — this statement from the Pope clearly reveals the imperialistic design of the Vatican: CONQUER THE WORLD! The Vatican is already as much a nation or state as is Great Britain. It has "a full civil government with a flag, a police force, courts and postage stamps. It even issues currency in the form of gold and silver coins bearing an effigy of the Pope, and it has some 500-odd national citizens who use Vatican passports when they wish to travel. It has armed guards, and, before 1870, it had a full-blown military establishment" (American Freedom and Catholic Power, by Paul Blanshard, p. 41).
But some will object and say, "The Catholic Church is only interested in the SPIRITUAL conquest of nations, not military or political." The question is, "Has the Roman Church historically for centuries, CONTROLLED POLITICS whenever possible, WAGED WAR when necessary (either directly or indirectly by controlling national armies), and WES IT NOW PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS?"
History cries, YES IT HAS! IT ALWAYS HAS, DOES SO NOW, AND ALWAYS WILL!!
Always, that is, until it is destroyed.
"It is an understatement to say that the Roman Catholic Church is in politics. IT IS POLITICAL. 'Separation of church and state' is described by Father John Courtenay Murray, the leading current writer on this theme in the American [Catholic) hierarchy, as 'That negative, ill-defined, basically un-American formula, with all its overtones of religious prejudice' " (Blanshard, p 43). Pius IX, in Section 6 of his Syllabus, DENOUNCED the cherished belief that "the Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church" as one of "THE PRINCIPAL ERRORS OF OUR TIME' (Blanshard, p. 43. Emphasis ours).
So you can expect this fall an appreciable advance toward the cause of Roman-Orthodox unity, although it may take longer for actual unity. No ecumenical council of the past has ever been announced as a failure. In the eyes of the "Eternal City," Rome, they are always overwhelming successes. You can expect, moreover, generally favorable comments from Protestants as to the possibility of one giant super-Christian monopoly in the not-too-distant future. You will begin to hear the Catholic Church boast not 550 millions, but close to 900 millions of adherents, with the addition of the Orthodox ranks; in a few years — with Protestants added — well over a BILLION!
Will Unity Come? Emphatically, dogmatically, we state positively that CHURCH UNITY WILL COME! How can we be sure? Simply that God has revealed it through the prophet Isaiah over 2,700 years ago!
Speaking of the Catholic Church (Daughter of Babylon), Isaiah says, "And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, 'I AM, AND NONE ELSE BESIDE ME; I shall not sit as a widow, NEITHER SHALL I KNOW THE LOSS OF CHILDREN"! (Isa. 47:1, 7-8).
Did you grasp the tremendous significance? This event is for the LATTER END, nearing the climax of this age when Christ will set up His government (Rev. 11:15). This "mistress" (or lady, defined in II Cor. 11:2 and Rev. 19:7 as a church) will say, "There is none else beside me" or, "I am the only 'Christian' church in existence."
Now it should be clear that in order to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah for the latter days, the Roman Catholic Church must REGAIN DAUGHTER churches she has mothered — either through political moves for unity, or through forced conversion in the Tribulation. Once reunification is achieved, she becomes "the only 'Christian' church." To be the only church in existence ("none else beside me"), she must either bring competing churches back to the fold, or ERASE THEM FROM THE EARTH!
TRIBULATION For Those Who Refuse True enough there will be some who will refuse to have Vatican doctrine crammed down their throats. They will be able to escape the "Mark of the Beast" only by death! "And he had power to give life to the image of the beast [the Roman hierarchy], that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Rev. 13:15).
Then, and only then, she can say, "NEITHER SHALL I KNOW THE LOSS OF CHILDREN"; "I will not again lose my daughter churches!"
Note this striking admission by Catholic Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia: "Byzantium and its DAUGHTER churches are still separated." Outright confession of how Catholics look at their "separated brethren"! God calls them harlot daughters in Revelation 17, speaking of the "great whore that sitteth upon many waters": "Upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS [with daughter churches] and abominations of the earth" (verses 1, 5).
What to Expect in the Near Future There are yet other reasons we know that church unity will be achieved. As reported in The PLAIN TRUTH October, 1960, "Papacy Answer$ Red Threat," one main reason for unity is the burgeoning European Common Market. This economic union of six nations now wants to unite politically — and has to unite politically in order to fulfill prophecy!
These nations want to unite in order to become the "holder of the balance" — the largest political force in the world! No one nation can trust another to be the head, or the unifying force. The only authority which can be looked to by all nations in this combine is the spiritual authority of Rome! The Catholic Church desperately wants control of this vast political — financial power reservoir.
Here is where unity comes in. Germany, especially, and to a lesser extent other nations of Europe are split religiously between Catholicism, Lutheranism, etc. For the German nation as a whole to come under papal authority — as prophecy says it must — Lutherans must unite with Catholics. A huge Munich conference in 1960, the 37th Eucharistic World Congress, had as its underlying theme UNITY — gathering the Protestants back into the fold. This meeting was fully reported in The Plain Truth mentioned above. This is the strongest physical cause of unity. But the unseen reason is of God — a startling prophecy that is now beginning to take shape right before your eyes!
Why Hoax MUST SUCCEED God has allowed man 6,000 years to experiment, to eat the fruit of man's way. Hydrogen destruction and nuclear annihilation are almost upon us. "For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days be cut short, THERE SHOULD NO FLESH BE SAVED ALIVE" (Matthew 24:21-22, see Moffatt version).
Immediately prior to that great world upheaval, A FANTASTIC RELIGIOUS HOAX WILL GRIP THE ENTIRE WESTERN HEMISPHERE! The Apostle Paul long ago warned of this very deception palmed off in the name of Christ. Listen! Speaking of the end time, and the Second Coming of Christ, he said, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that HE AS GOD sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.... Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS" (II Thes. 2:3-4, 9). Rome, by supernatural powers from Satan, will succeed in forcing the whole professing Christian world to accept its teachings.
The first half of the hoax was successful some 1800 years ago when Rome deceived the world into believing she is the first and only True Church. This is a lie! The real truth is that the old pagan Babylonian religion forced the true Christians to flee, and appropriated the name of Christ.
Because the "separated brethren" all believe this monstrous lie, it is not a question of which church is first, of which to return to, rather it is only HOW TO RETURN TO BABYLON!
God Versus Catholicism God says man must come to the very split-second verge of destroying all human life. Then He will send His Son again to save man from himself! The Pope says, reports L'Osservatore Romano, "You can see, brothers, this is the Church of Christ. Come! Come!... From a religious peace, from a re-united Christian family, oh, what joy! We can expect prosperity even in the civic and social order OF THE ENTIRE WORLD." The Pope wants peace the Catholic way. Those that refuse it will later be FORCED IN LINE! Any religious belief other than papism will be a state crime, punishable by DEATH!
Brethren, pray fervently now, in humble submission and He will grant you ESCAPE from the most fantastic FRAUD the world has ever known!!